With selection for Gold Coast 2018 just around the corner, Scotland’s cyclists were on top form at the British Track Cycling Championships in Manchester landing a host of podium places including seven gold medals.
World and Olympic champion Katie Archibald led the way with a hat-trick of titles in a unique treble, defending all three of the titles she won last year. On the first day of competition she took the Individual Pursuit ahead of GB team mate Emily Nelson, before making a rare outing in the Sprint, honing her speed for her endurance events and picking up a bronze medal.
She went on to produce stunning finishes to take gold medals two and three. The first came in the Scratch Race, closing down a breakaway group and piling on the pressure over the final laps to take victory. She won the Points race on the final day of competition in similar style, gaining a lap in the closing stages and taking 2nd in the final sprint to complete an outstanding weekend.
Katie was not the only Archibald to top the podium over the weekend, with older brother John claiming a first British title in the Points Race. Making the switch from road to track just a few months ago in an attempt to qualify for the Gold Coast Games, he looked right at home in his new discipline. He took Individual Pursuit bronze on the opening day before his Points Race triumph on day two, adding a further bronze in the Team Pursuit. With several Gold Coast qualifying times already in the bag, he could well realise his Commonwealth Games dream.
At 18 years old, Jenny Holl was Scotland’s youngest champion of the weekend, taking a maiden British title as she teamed up with Abbie Dentus, Becky Raybould and Jess Roberts in the Team Pursuit.
Jack Carlin was a double champion, the 20 year-old taking gold in both the Individual and Team Sprint. He was in esteemed company in the Team event, riding with 2016 Olympic champions Philip Hines and Jason Kenny to take the title.
The man who won that Olympic gold alongside Hines and Kenny, Callum Skinner, was in action in the Kilo, taking silver in a highly competitive event won by Joe Truman. There were silver medals too for Jonny Wale in the Team Pursuit, after a mechanical failure in the final cost his team a chance of gold, and for the duo of Lucy Grant and Luisa Steele in the Team Sprint.
Scotland’s para-cyclists were also in fine form as they raced in a series of mixed gender events. Double gold medallist for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014, Neil Fachie, along with pilot Matt Rotherham, took silver in the BVI Flying 200m as Scottish duo Laura Cluxton and Emma Baird took bronze. Cluxton and Baird were back on the podium with silver in the Pursuit, while Fachie and Rotherham took bronze in the Kilo. There were two 4th places for Glasgow 2014 silver medallists Aileen McGlynn and Louise Haston, finishing just off the podium in both the Kilo and 200m.
With the qualifying window for Gold Coast 2018 now closed, the cyclists face a nervous wait to find out who has booked themselves a place on Team Scotland for April’s Games, with the team due to be announced in February.